Toby Price puts W2RC title race on knife edge

Toby Price is now tied for the lead of the W2RC as live. Image: Supplied

Toby Price is now tied for the lead of the W2RC as live. Image: Supplied

KTM’s Toby Price has moved into a tie for the live lead of the World Rally-Raid Championship with three stages remaining in the season finale in Morocco.

He is now second in the rally standings and thus, as live, sits on 91 championship points, as does fifth-placed Luciano Benavides.

However, the latter would take the crown on a tie-break given he has a round win to his name, the Desafío Ruta 40, whereas Price does not.

Price started the day fifth on the Rallye du Maroc leaderboard after his performance on Stage 1 but pushed through to set the second-fastest time on the latest, 296km special despite not earning any opener bonuses.

He is now 1:04s off the overall rally lead, which was retained by Ross Branch despite the Hero rider struggling as the road opener.

Benavides was fourth on the day on his Husqvarna but sits fifth overall thanks in part to the exploits of Price’s Red Bull KTM team-mate, Matthias Walkner, who is 33 seconds ahead.

“Second today is good and I’m happy with that,” said KTM’s Australian rider.

“The stage was a little bit more technical than yesterday which I liked although I did make a couple of little mistakes early on.

“After that, though, I got into a good rhythm and maintained a decent pace throughout.

“It’s still early in the race but moving up to second overall and closing in the leader is great and we’re in a good place.

“There are three stages to go and I’ll keep pushing and fighting until the very end.”

Tight finishes are nothing new for Price in this year’s W2RC, having missed out on a third Dakar crown by just 43 seconds to one of his team-mates.

He will get another shot this coming January, having recently signed a new contract with KTM for the 2024 edition.

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